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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old February 3rd, 2006, 23:20 Thread Starter
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EPL 04/02/2006 West Brom v Blackburn

From BBC ...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/foot...em/4657236.stm

West Brom v Blackburn

The Hawthorns
Saturday, 4 February
Kick-off: 1500 GMT
Coverage on BBC Radio Five Live

West Brom's deadline day signing Nigel Quashie is set to make his debut, while Williams Martinez and Jan Kozak are also both available.

Ronnie Wallwork can play after a ban but Kevin Campbell and Steve Watson are doubtful with groin injuries.

Blackburn Rovers midfielder Robbie Savage is a doubt for the trip to The Hawthorns with an ankle problem.

Florent Sinama-Pongolle is struggling with flu but Craig Bellamy is nearing a return after three weeks out injured.

West Brom (from): Kuszczak, Albrechtsen, Davies, Martinez, Clement, Robinson, Watson, Greening, Johnson, Inamoto, Carter, Quashie, Kozak, Horsfield, Ellington, Campbell, Kirkland, Nicolson.

Blackburn (from): Friedel, Neill, Khizanishvili, Nelsen, Matteo, Bentley, Tugay, Savage, Pedersen, Kuqi, Enckelman, Emerton, Mokoena, Bellamy, Gray, Peter, Todd, Reid, Johnson, Sinama Pongolle.

West Brom manager Bryan Robson:
"If Steve Watson doesn't come through, Williams Martinez is the only defender I've got who is available apart from the back four lads who did so well at Charlton.

"He is probably going to have to be thrown into the deep end. I started with putting Martinez and Neil Clement together in training and they worked well together.

"Curtis Davies and Martinez worked together as well. We've looked at the options because it might be a case of that's what is going to happen."

# Blackburn manager Mark Hughes:
"There would be no point in having a great performance against a side like United if we allow ourselves to wallow in the glory.

"But I sense in the group of players I have that there is a real belief that we can have an outstanding season.

"If we can sustain our level of performance, we'll go very close to European qualification."

BIG-MATCH FACTS

# WEST BROMWICH ALBION have just two wins in eight League matches, and in Blackburn take on the Premiership's form team. An away win could see Bryan Robson's side back in the relegation zone, and Rovers in the top five and eyeing a place in Europe - depending on other results.

# The Baggies stayed above the trap door with a point from a drab goalless draw at Charlton on Tuesday. They run out in front of the home faithful for the first time since succumbing to rock bottom Sunderland. Indeed Bryan Robson's side are in danger of suffering three home defeats on the trot. The reverse by the Wearsiders was preceded at the Hawthorns by a 1-2 loss to local rivals Aston Villa.

# Three of the five Premiership matches against Blackburn have been drawn, including last season's corresponding fixture. Kieran Richardson put the home side in front, but a second half equaliser from Brett Emerton dealt them a massive blow in their ultimately successful survival bid.

# BLACKBURN ROVERS were involved in the fourth seven-goal game of this Premiership season when they completed the double over Manchester United in their highest scoring match of the campaign, with the aid of a David Bentley hat-trick. Now they head for the West Midlands in search of a fourth consecutive away League victory, to take their unbeaten Premiership streak, home and away, to seven games.

# Victory at the Hawthorns, would be Rovers' 1,000th post war League win.

# Rovers are yet to lose a Premiership match at the Hawthorns, after one win and one draw. They're also looking to gain a sixth 'double' over Albion, having won at Ewood Park in October with Shefki Kuqi's first two goals for the club, accompanied by his trademark celebratory swallow dive. Rovers last claimed home and away maximum points over the Midlanders in the top division 43 years ago, in the 1962/63 season.

REFEREE:
Chris Foy (St Helens)

SEQUENCES/RECENT FORM

WEST BROMWICH ALBION
Club stats
Fixtures
17th 23 points
Highest achievable after Saturday's games: 15th
Lowest could fall: 18th

# Won 18 of their 100 Premier League matches to date.
# Won 11 of 50 Premiership matches under Bryan Robson.
# Never had 23 points after the first 24 matches of a Premier League season before. The previous best to this identical stage was 17 points in 2002/03. They also had 20 points after the first 25 matches that season - again a club Premiership best - already beaten by this season's performance.
# Failed to score in 12 Premiership matches this season. Only Newcastle exceed - missing the target in 13.
# Opened the scoring in only seven top flight matches this term. No club has taken the lead less often.

# Won three of the last six Premiership games at the Hawthorns.
# Drawn only one home League game this season.

BLACKBURN ROVERS
Club stats
Fixtures
8th 37 points
Highest achievable after Saturday's games: 5th
Lowest could fall: 10th

# Won five and drawn one of the last six Premiership matches, since losing 2-1 at Fulham on 17 December.
# Lost one of the last eight top flight outings.
# Gone 26 Premiership matches, since recording a score draw (1-1 at West Brom on 26 April last year).
# Conceded more goals in first half stoppage time than any other club in this League (four).
# Leading the Premiership's "Last Six Current Form" table with 16 points from the possible 18, two more points than Chelsea.
# The most ill-disciplined side in the Premiership this season (52 cards - four red, 48 yellow - although Zura Khizanishvili's red card against Liverpool was later rescinded).

# Won the last three away Premiership matches against Middlesbrough (0-2), Wigan (0-3) and Newcastle (0-1).
# Not conceded in 308 minutes (five hours eight minutes) of Premiership soccer on the road, since Luis Boa Morte scored Fulham's second on 17 December.

KEY PLAYER NOTES/POTENTIAL MILESTONES

WEST BROMWICH ALBION
Squad profiles

# Nathan ELLINGTON, needs three more to total 100 in his League career (Bristol Rovers, Wigan and West Brom).
# If he plays, Neil CLEMENT will be making his 250th career League appearance (Chelsea, Reading, Preston, Brentford and West Brom).

BLACKBURN ROVERS
Squad profiles

# When next on the field from the outset, Paul DICKOV will be making his 50th start for Blackburn.
# If he lines up for the kick off, Lucas NEILL will be making his 250th League start for Blackburn.
# If involved from the opening whistle, Steven REID will be making his 50th League start for Rovers.
# If selected in the 11, Kerimoglu TUGAY will be making his 150th start in British League football (Rangers and Blackburn).

LAST SEASON'S CORRESPONDING GAME:
West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Blackburn Rovers
26 April 2005 - Ref: Steve Bennett
WBA scorer: Richardson 32
Blackburn scorer: Emerton 64

THIS SEASON'S REVERSE FIXTURE:
Blackburn Rovers 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
1 October 2005 - Ref: Uriah Rennie
Blackburn scorers: Kuqi 80, 88

HEAD TO HEAD TOTALS
League: WBA 37 wins, Blackburn 44, Draws 24
Prem: WBA 0 wins, Blackburn 2, Draws 3

HEAD TO HEAD at WBA
League: WBA 26 wins, Blackburn 11, Draws 15
Prem: WBA 0 wins, Blackburn 1, Draws 2

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old February 3rd, 2006, 23:22 Thread Starter
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Tough game for us, especially after Rovers nice win v Man Utd mid week.
Cant really see us winning the game, but I think a draw would be a good point, however I feel we might lose 2-1

Just a gut feeling I have. Hope I'm wrong.

I also hope Martinez plays and Kozak.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old February 4th, 2006, 09:27
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Robson said he may start with Davis and Martinez in centre.

I think a 1:0 win

a penalty or a free-kick
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old February 4th, 2006, 11:33 Thread Starter
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Boss could call on new boys
BRYAN Robson has revealed he may need to throw Albion new boy Williams
Martinez "in at the deep end" for Saturday's clash with Blackburn (ko 3pm).


The Uruguay centre-half only arrived in the country on Monday but the
Baggies boss could be short of defenders with Steve Watson still carrying
the groin injury he sustained against Sunderland almost a fortnight ago.


Jan Kozak, who was on the bench for Tuesday's goalless draw at Charlton, and
£1.2million signing Nigel Quashie are also likely to figure against Rovers.


But the Baggies boss is still sweating on the fitness of Kevin Campbell
(groin) after he limped out of the Valley stalemate in the 55th minute.


Robson is also without the services of Kanu and Diomansy Kamara, who are
both on African Nations Cup duty, and Thomas Gaardsoe (groin).


But he will have Ronnie Wallwork available again after he served a one-match
ban against the Addicks.


"There is still a doubt about Kevin Campbell and Steve Watson," said the
Albion chief.


"But Ronnie Wallwork comes back into the squad and then we have Martinez,
Quashie and Kozak in the squad.


"They've trained with us today (Thursday) and it is good timing that those
three have come into the club, with us being so short on numbers.


"If Steve Watson doesn't come through Martinez is the only defender in the
club I have who is fit and available apart from the back four lads who did
so well at Charlton.


"So, he is probably going to have to be thrown in at the deep end."


Long-term injury victim Zoltan Gera has spent the week with a specialist
trying to get to the bottom of the groin problem that has plagued his season
even after undergoing a double hernia operation before Christmas.


And Robson is expecting the outcome of the tests tomorrow.


"Zoltan is still seeing the specialist and we should know by tomorrow where
Zoltan is up to."

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old February 4th, 2006, 11:34 Thread Starter
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Martinez eligible for Rovers clash
WILLIAMS Martinez has been given international clearance in time to make him
eligible for tomorrow's (Saturday) clash with Blackburn (ko 3pm).


The Uruguay centre-half, who signed on loan from Defensor on Tuesday, will
now be hoping to make his Barclays Premiership debut against Rovers.


And Bryan Robson revealed, although Martinez was his second choice target
after Middlesbrough's Ugo Ehiogu, he is convinced the 23-year-old ace has
got what it takes to cut in England.


"Martinez's English isn't too good but he's already having English lessons
to get across to him as quickly as we can the major words in football
terminology," said Robson.


"We watched him a lot but the number one on my list was Ehiogu and I turned
round to Martinez as a back-up.


"It took a lot of persuasion to get their club to release him because they
didn't particularly want to lose him as captain of the club and he'd just
got into the Uruguay squad.


"But the lad is desperate to play European football."

And the Albion chief has been impressed by what he has seen of Martinez in
training so far.

"I started with putting Martinez and Clem together in training yesterday
(Thursday) morning and they worked well together," he added.


"Then Curtis Davies and Martinez worked together as well.


"It might be a case that he could end up playing with either."

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old February 4th, 2006, 11:54
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Looking forward to it, should be a good game. I'd be over the moon with a win but, I think a draw is the most likely outcome.

THOSE WHO FORGET THE PAST HAVE NO FUTURE

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old February 4th, 2006, 17:33
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FT
WBA - Blackburn 2:0

Campbell and Greening scored !
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old February 4th, 2006, 18:45 Thread Starter
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Greenings goal was superb, lifted the ball over a Balckburn defender before smacking the ball into the net. A thoroughly good display and by all accounts we should have had more.


Match report from Sky
Brilliant Baggies stun Rovers
By Lewis Rutledge - Created on 04 Feb 06

West Brom produced a superb display to shock Blackburn 2-0 in an entertaining clash at The Hawthorns.

First half goals from Kevin Campbell, celebrating his 36th birthday, and Jonathan Greening, proved the difference, but West Brom were good value for their victory.

Campbell fired The Baggies in front after just seven minutes, having missed a fantastic chance to open the scoring moments earlier.

Greening showed great skill down the right wing before crossing the ball into Campbell at the near post, only for the veteran striker to incredibly blast his shot wide from just a couple of yards out.

He made amends less than a minute later, controlling Junichi Inamoto's pin-point long pass with his chest and coolly slotting the ball past Brad Friedel with the outside of his foot.

Blackburn's defending was a shambles, and West Brom's midfielders were given the space they needed to run riot. Greening and Inamoto both came close to doubling the advantage with fierce strikes from distance after being given far too much time to pull the trigger.

Rovers were looking a shadow of the side that shocked Manchester United on Wednesday and had gone six Premiership games unbeaten, but did threaten sporadically.

Tomasz Kuszczak had to be alert to tip over an inswinging free kick from Morten Gamst Pedersen, and some of their build-up play was impressive, but there were few alarms for the West Brom defence to deal with.

The Baggies' second came just after the half hour mark, Greening gratefully receiving a terrible clearance from Michael Gray, before steadying himself and volleying into the net from outside the area with both precision and ferocity.

Blackburn were shell-shocked, but managed to survive until half time without sinking further behind, a very real possibility with The Hawthorns faithful spurring their side on to an impressive attacking display.

Mark Hughes brought on Brett Emerton at half time and shortly after introduced Florent Sinama-Pongolle for his Blackburn debut, and Rovers did start to come back into the game.

David Bentley, fresh from his hat-trick against Manchester United, headed wide with his first noteworthy contribution, as the game fluctuated from end to end.

Inamoto spurned an opportunity for the home side when he hit straight at Friedel, but the Japanese star remained one of the most impressive performers on the pitch, along with Greening.

Blackburn tried their utmost to put West Brom under pressure, and nearly reduced their arrears when Pedersen nodded Emerton's pass back across goal, but with no forwards rushing in, the ball trickled past an empty net to safety.

Ryan Nelsen and Bentley wasted good chances from the centre of the area late on, but in the end West Brom comfortably held on for all three points.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old February 4th, 2006, 20:33
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A superb performance by Inamoto. Can't wait to see his pass for Campbells goal.

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